Bangalore: Shikha Tandon and Rehan Poncha will represent India at the Barcelona World Swimming Championships later this month in Spain. Both the Karnataka swimmers are hoping to use this event as a springboard for the Athens Olympics. "Over 200 countries are taking part, including Australia, the United States and Germany. I think it is going to be a really competitive meet," said Shikha Tandon. Hopes high With the five best Indian performances to her credit, Shikha is understandably upbeat. "I think I have a pretty good chance in qualifying for the Olympics at this event aÂ" and that will be my main target. In the 100 meter freestyle, my best time is 58:4 seconds and the qualifying time is 58:3 seconds. So I think I stand a pretty good chance," said Shikha. Rehan Poncha, who is on a roll after mopping up four national records at the junior aquatics meet recently, says he's never had such a good time in water. "I think I am in the best shape in my life and I am expecting to do my best times. My goal is to get as close to Olympic qualifying time as possible," said Rehan. Nihar Ameen, Shikha and Rehan's coach is keenly looking forward to their performance. "This is the greatest opportunity for them to shine at the highest level. The other aspect is that this is an opportunity for them to qualify for the Olympics," said Ameen. The Sports Authority of India recently sponsored Rehan for a three month training stint at Perth in Australia, and now it will be sending Shikha for the same scholarship after she returns from Barcelona.
Topics : Swimming